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By Ian Bush

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Pushing back against those who call the immigration reform bill “amnesty legislation,” a group of Catholic nuns brought their cross-country campaign to Camden, NJ this morning.

Filling the pews at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, the 100+ participants from the “Nuns on the Bus” tour got a knuckle-rapping of sorts from Sister Simone Campbell.

“Everybody has to use their voice,” she told them.  “We the people need to speak up.”

(Sr. Simone Campbell, speaking in Camden, NJ.  Credit: Ian Bush)

(Sr. Simone Campbell, speaking in Camden, NJ. Credit: Ian Bush)


Campbell heads “Network,” a Catholic social justice group lobbying members of Congress to support the comprehensive immigration reform bill now in the US Senate.

“We have a narrow window of time before they’re going to get back on budget issues and other issues.  We have to get this done by August,” Campbell says.

More than two dozen nuns will join her on the bus tour which she describes as “6,500 miles, fifteen states,” using their unique position to push for a path to citizenship for the 11 million people living here illegally.

“Our communities were started by immigrants,” Campbell notes.  “We care passionately for the needs of everyone in our society, and we seem to be kind of trusted messengers.”

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